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Friday, October 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton On Ferguson: ‘We Can Do Better’

Hillary Clinton On Ferguson: ‘We Can Do Better’

San Francisco (AFP) — Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, has weighed in for the first time on the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, saying America can do better.

The August 9 killing of Michael Brown, 18, and the subsequent crackdown on demonstrators in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson revived a debate about race in the United States and sparked condemnation of police tactics and militarization.

“Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that,” Clinton said in San Francisco Thursday amid criticism for having stayed silent on the subject.

“We cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system. Inequities that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality.”

As a “mother” and “human being,” the former secretary of state and first lady said her heart broke for Brown’s family “because losing a child is every parent greatest fear and an unimaginable loss.”

“But I also grieve for that community … this is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray,” she added.

Clinton, who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, applauded the U.S. president’s decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson and for “demanding a thorough and speedy investigation.”

“We can work to rebuild the bonds of trust from the ground up,” she added.

Ferguson was hit with ten days of at times violent protests and clashes in the wake of Brown’s shooting by a white police officer, accounts of which differ.

While police allege Brown was trying to grab Wilson’s gun, witnesses said he was shot as he held his hands in the air in a clear sign of surrender.

The teenager was eulogized Monday as a victim of abusive policing at a funeral service attended by thousands, including U.S. civil rights leaders and representatives dispatched by Obama.

Clinton has remained silent so far on her presidential intentions, yet all of her actions — a series of lectures, a tour to promote her latest memoir, media appearances — appear calibrated toward a 2016 campaign.

AFP Photo/Oliver Lang

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  • Dominick Vila

    Of course we can do better, and expect better, but to do that we must understand the root causes of what happened, not only in Ferguson, but in cities and town nationwide. Ferguson is the last in a long list of injustices that in addition to obvious abuses of power, and cynical attempts to defend the indefensible, highlight the effects of inequality in the richest country in the world.
    From killings and beatings of people of color to the aftermath of Katrina, what is evident to the most casual observer is that there are two Americas in the USA. One enjoys the bounty and the opportunities that exist in the richest country in the world, the other lives in circumstances that resemble those in Third World countries and an oligarchy determine to use force to keep them down.
    In the face of horrible abuses of power and conditions that should have been eliminated decades ago, there are many among us that continue to depict the most vulnerable and abused members of our society as lazy, as being dependent on government handouts, and as dangerous criminals who must be exterminated to save the rest of us from their evil actions. As bad as our indifference to circumstances that should be unacceptable to all of us is, those who seize every opportunity to score political points don’t hesitate to accuse a President who, if anything, tried to remain as objective and unbiased in the face of chaos and overt prejudice, of being divisive.
    Much has happened since the Civil War and the Civil Rights struggles, but much remains to be done and, sadly, it is readily apparent that for many the solution starts and ends with the killing of unarmed minorities, prisons filled to capacity, and a socio-political environment that helps the privileged prosper, often at the expense of those who have been left behind.